Defining the parental burden of acute cough in children

Anderson-James, S., Newcombe, P.A., Marchant, J.M., O'Grady, K.F., Acworth, J.P., Turner, C.T., & Chang, A.B. (2013) Defining the parental burden of acute cough in children. Respirology, 18(S2), p. 77.

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Despite the prevalence of acute cough in children (<2 weeks duration), the burden to parents and families is largely unknown. The objectives of this study were to determine the parental burden of children’s acute cough, and to evaluate psychological and other infl uences on the reported burden of acute cough in children.


Parents of children with a current acute cough (<2 weeks) at enrolment completed 4 questionnaires (state trait anxiety inventory (STAI); short form health survey (SF-8); depression, anxiety and stress 21-item scale (DASS21); and our preliminary 48-item parent acute cough specifi c quality of life (PAC-QOL48) questionnaire). In PAC-QOL48, lower scores refl ect worse QOL.


Median age of the 104 children enrolled was 2.63 (IQR 1.42, 4.79) years, 54 were boys. Median length of cough at enrolment was 3 (IQR 2, 5) days. Median total PAC-QOL48 score of parents enrolled at presentation to the emergency department (n = 70) was signifi cantly worse than of parents enrolled through the community (n = 24) (p < 0.01). More than half (n = 55) had sought medical assistance more than once for the current acute coughing illness. PAC-QOL48 score was signifi cantly negatively correlated to verbal category descriptive and visual analogue scale cough scores (Spearman r = −0.26, p = 0.05 and r = −0.46, p = 0.01 respectively) and DASS21 total score (r = −0.36, p = 0.01), but not to child’s age.


Consistent with data on chronic cough, stress was the predominant factor of parental burden. This study highlights the ongoing need for clinicians to be cognizant of parental worries and concerns when their children are coughing, and for further research into safe and effective therapies for acute cough in children.

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ID Code: 64692
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Special Issue: Abstracts of the Thoracic Society of Australia & New Zealand and the Australian & New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science 2013 Annual Scientific Meetings, 22-27 March 2013, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin, NT
Keywords: cough, paediatrics, burden
DOI: 10.1111/resp.12046
ISSN: 1323-7799
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 25 Nov 2013 00:48
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 00:08

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